Posted June 12, 2014 by Esslinger Staff
Setting Up a Jewelry Work Bench
We are going to set a basic jeweler work bench. This is only to cover the basics. As you work your way into the business, you’ll see how you expand it further, as you decide if you would go into general repair, or a more specialized trade.
We need a jeweler bench, Heavy Duty Jewelers Workbench Item Number: 13.071 is ideal,
We also need a chair (item # needed)
The basic tool to start fixing jewelry will be a set of files, pliers, saw frame and some saw blades, solder in 14k 18k ,white and yellow, from soft to harder. We are going to need a drill, jeweler hammer , raw hide mallet , a mandrel , ring sizes, drill bits , and ultrasonic and a steamer, a pickle pot , a container to keep the alcohol and borax, and a buffer .
Ok, we have our bench; we need a drill Foredom #2230 Jewelers Kit Jewelry Making Tool, Item Number: 34.343
This set comes with the basic drills and filing and buffing disk wheel, so we can practice and find out which ones would be of more use to us in the future.
So we can drill so far and cut. Now we need to saw, the Swiss-Made Sawframes – Adjustable Style, Item Number: 49.720
And PIKE Brand Swiss Sawblades,8/0,Per Dz Item Number: 49.440 will provide all the power cut that we may need. Blades are easy to break , so make sure you would not run out of them during a job.
So far we drill, cut and saw, now we need to solder. For that Gentec “Small Torch” Kit with Regulators Item Number: 14.0326 and we need to hold the torch in the bench with Torch Holder with Clamp,6 1/2″ Total Item Number: 14.635.
I also recommend an Electronic Torch-Mate Torch Lighter Item Number: 14.204
This torch mate eliminated that need of lighter or matches in the bench, it is well worth the price and never let you down.
So we have the torch. Now we need solder. I recommend to buy solder that is already pre-cut (*). It is the lazy way but at the end it saves us money. So we are going to work in gold and silver , so we need 14k yellow and white solder easy for chains and old jewelry. We also need 14k yellow and white hard solder for rings and new jewelry. To that we add 18 k yellow and white easy solder for chain and old jewelry plus 18 k yellow and white hard solder for new jewelry and rings. I would also order 14k yellow gold ultra easy solder for small chain and delicate work that cannot take much heat. Order your solder pre-cut and plum, that means that it is certified that the karat in the solder is 14k or 18k, not less, I don’t use 10k gold solder. If I am working in a piece that is 10k gold, I use 14k solder. It makes my life easy.
If you start working in silver at the beginning use soft silver solder. Working in silver is a bit different from working in gold. Silver needs to be even heat for the solder runs even, so easy solder would make your job easier, until you have more experience with silver.
We cannot forget Tungsten Pick Item Number: 54.772 to pick up and distribute solder
We need Battern’s Self Pickling Hard Soldering Flux,3 oz. Item Number: 54.402, so solder can flow even, a Little Dipper Pickle Pot (16 oz.) Item Number: 45.308 and Sparex Pickling Compound Item Number: 45.127, plus Copper Tongs 9″ Item Number: 57.052, so we will not ruin the pickle solution on the pot.
We are going to need a container that can hold denature alcohol with Griffith Borax Powder Item Number: 22.822
And addition to this tool, we must have an ultrasonic L & R Quantrex Series Q140 Ultrasonic Jewelry Item Number: 23.610 would be the ideal, but you can use one smaller if you must to clean jewelry before and after you have work on it.
You need besides the ultrasonic, a steamer that had the power to remove dirt even in the most intricate parts of a jewelry piece.
The Reimers Cyclone Steamer Item Number: 23.875 has the power and yet it is small can be sit or fit almost anywhere, and since the water supply has to be distilled water, the gallon of water can be put next to its side.
You also need a basket and a tongue (item number needed) to pick up jewelry in the ultrasonic or hold it under the stream of steam from the steamer.
We can use in the beginning our hand drill for cutting drill , file and polish, but if we want to have an even and mirror finish when we polish, we will need a buffer. We can start with a smaller buffer like Foredom Polisher Item Number: 47.107
We will need buffer wheels and polishing compound (item number needed). Eventually we will expand. There are so many type the wheels we can use to give all kinds of finishing on the metal, but for now I suggest to keep it simple.
To repair ring we need a mandrel. If we have only one we will chose one with a grove on it, the grove is to place the stone that a ring may have when we are fixing it or measure its size. Steel Ring Mandrel Stick Grooved & Graduated Item Number: 43.086 and to know the sizes of a costumer finger we need Ring Finger Metal Gauge Sizer Jewelry Tool 1-15 Item Number: 35.274
If you can order two – one for regular rings and other one for wider rings – it will make the difference.
A mallet to help to mold jewelry without leaving deep scratches Premium Rawhide Mallet Hammer for Jewelry or Metal 2oz. Item Number: 37.700
A hammer to size rings Jewelry Tool Goldsmith Ballpein Hammer Item Number: 37.0432
We need to measure gold to know how much to order how thick, how wide, for that we need to order. Jewelry and Watch Micrometer Digital Caliper 100mm 4″ Jewelry Tool Item Number: 35.185
Pliers to help with the shank – Ring Bending Jewelry Tool Item Number: 46.0062
And dividers to find the center point of a jewelry piece or to make circles among other things. Jewelry and Watch Caliper Divider 3″Item Number: 35.082
This bench should have everything that you need to fix a chain , size a ring, repair a bracelet or a brooch, as long as you buy the proper sizing. In the future you want to invest in a roller Combination Rolling Mill Jewelers Tool 90mm Item Number: 28.187 and Tungsten Carbide Drawplate Jewelry Wire Making Shaping Item Number: DRA555.00. As you work progresses , you would realize that you need more tools for specific jobs, special pliers for setting stones for pressing, for cutting, wooden blocks to help shape gold or silver, some Jewelry Casting Crucible, plating equipment, and all the tool and parts that goes with the jewelry trade. This list is to help the beginner in the trade to have an Idea of the material needed d and the cost of the items.
Remember you can always cut cost, and you can always add if the occasion calls for it.